REVIEW: The Devil All The Time (2020)

Film Poster
Release Poster — Netflix

Directed by Antonio Campos (Christine) — Screenplay by Antonio & Paul Campos.

In a year such as 2020, where a global pandemic has changed our lifestyle drastically and paralyzed the entertainment industry, major new releases from streaming services such as Netflix end up meaning quite a lot. The release of The Devil All the Time is one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time, as it is an adaptation of a popular novel by a relatively seasoned filmmaker and since it features an absolutely incredible and star-studded ensemble cast. It is a dark, bleak, and depressing film that will likely divide audiences, but I have to say that it had my complete interest for the entire run-time. It isn’t necessarily a film that will be remembered years from now, but it is a dark and gripping slow-paced drama about violence, religion, and America. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Devil All The Time (2020)”

REVIEW: #Alive (2020)

South Korean Theatrical Release Poster – Lotte Entertainment

The following is a review of #Alive — Directed by Cho Il-hyung.

Some say that by now the zombie movie genre has been done to death. But, in recent years, I’ve enjoyed watching South Korean films attempt to reanimate it. With Train to Busan and its sequel Peninsula, Yeon Sang-ho revitalized the horror subgenre and gained a worldwide audience. With #Alive, Cho Il-hyung may benefit from the recent interest in South Korean zombie films, as it has recently been given a worldwide platform on Netflix. I’m happy to report that Cho’s film fits right in with the Train to Busan-films as it is a South Korean zombie film that is very easy to recommend to fans of the horror subgenre.

Continue reading “REVIEW: #Alive (2020)”

REVIEW: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of I’m Thinking of Ending Things — Directed by Charlie Kaufman.

Charlie Kaufman is perhaps an acquired taste. I know for sure that there are people who struggle to get on the same wavelength as the writer-director, and I also know that this film, in particular, is difficult for some people to vibe with, understand, or even sit through. The Oscar-winning screenwriter turned to directing in 2008 and, though he is somewhat of a critical darling, his films have since struggled to find financial success. Kaufman’s latest film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, is an ambiguous and patience-testing unconventional psychological thriller, and it will likely lead to both mixed reactions and — since it is a Netflix film — incomplete viewings. But if you know what to expect with Kaufman, and if you stick with the film, you will be treated to a fascinating and uneasy Rohrshach test in the form of a 134-minute-long straight-to-Netflix feature film.

Continue reading “REVIEW: I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)”

REVIEW: Anelka: L’Incompris (2020 – Documentary)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the documentary Anelka: L’Incompris — Directed by Frank Nataf.

Once upon a time, I reviewed another Netflix documentary about a French professional footballer. I remember being perplexed as to why that documentary, Antoine Griezmann: The Making of a Legend, insinuated that Antoine Griezmann, its subject, was already becoming a legend of the game, and I also remember how it felt like the documentary was more fascinated with France’s achievement at the World Cup than Griezmann’s own achievements as a footballer. That documentary felt incomplete because it was about a footballer whose career was by no means over and, again, because it felt like the documentarians really wanted to focus on the World Cup. Continue reading “REVIEW: Anelka: L’Incompris (2020 – Documentary)”

REVIEW: The Old Guard (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Old Guard — Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Old Guard is a straight-to-Netflix superhero action film that is based on the comic book of the same name, which was written by the film’s screenwriter Greg Rucka. The Old Guard follows a group of four warriors led by Andromache “Andy” of Scythia (played by Charlize Theron). Each of these warriors is superpowered with regenerative healing abilities, which means that they can all survive being killed. After the superpowered vigilante squad survive an ambush on a mission in South Sudan, they soon realize that they are being hunted by someone who wants the power that they possess, and, meanwhile, they have visions that indicate that there is a potential new recruit in the United States Marine Corps, Nile Freeman (played by KiKi Layne). Continue reading “REVIEW: The Old Guard (2020)”

REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — Directed by David Dobkin.

David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is an American straight-to-Netflix comedy about a fictional band’s journey to the Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition that celebrates pop music. It is, essentially, the European Championship of pop music. In the song contest, each country has a representative who must belt out an original popular song and attempt to win the grand prize of a microphone-shaped glass trophy, as well as the right to have their country host the song contest the following year. Continue reading “REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)”

REVIEW: Da 5 Bloods (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Da 5 Bloods — A Spike Lee Joint.

Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is a war film about the lasting effects of the Vietnam War on four African-American war veterans — Eddie (played by Norm Lewis), Otis (played by Clarke Peters), Melvin (played by Isiah Whitlock, Jr.), and Paul (played by Delroy Lindo) — collectively known as the ‘Bloods.’ Now, decades after the war has ended, the Bloods have returned to Vietnam to retrieve what they left behind in the jungle. They claim to only be back to retrieve the body of their squad leader, Stormin’ Norman (played by Chadwick Boseman), but they also want to find the precious gold bars that they had to leave behind when they were young men. Continue reading “REVIEW: Da 5 Bloods (2020)”

REVIEW: The Lovebirds (2020)

Original Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of The Lovebirds — Directed by Michael Showalter.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a serious impact on the film industry. The future of the movie theater industry is uncertain as some films that were meant for a theatrical release have been released on video-on-demand or streaming services, while many of the year’s biggest films have been removed from the 2020 theatrical release schedule entirely. This Michael Showalter romantic-comedy, The Lovebirds, was originally meant to be released in theaters by Paramount Pictures in April, but when theaters around the world closed their doors, the film studio sold its rights to Netflix, who finally released the film on the 22nd of May. The Lovebirds fits right in on Netflix, but, quality-wise, it is a significant step down from The Big Sick, Showalter’s previous film as a director. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Lovebirds (2020)”

REVIEW: The Wrong Missy (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Wrong Missy — Directed by Tyler Spindel.

As far as I am aware, Tyler Spindel’s The Wrong Missy is the eighth film that Netflix has distributed for Happy Madison Productions, the production company founded by Adam Sandler. Most of these films feature Adam Sandler in the lead role, and, often, the films take place in sunny locations. This has led to these films jokingly being referred to as ‘vacations’ that Sandler takes his friends and family on to relax between takes. I don’t know if there is any truth to that common joke, but, come to think of it, The Wrong Missy, which, notably, doesn’t feature Adam Sandler, actually does take place in sunny Hawaii.  In any case, this film, unfortunately, isn’t the return to form for Happy Madison that I wanted it to be. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Wrong Missy (2020)”